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Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities Ruth Kirkham – Project Manager John Pybus – Technical Support

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities Ruth Kirkham – Project Manager John Pybus – Technical Support"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities Ruth Kirkham – Project Manager John Pybus – Technical Support Oxford Internet Institute 7 February 2006

2 The humanities division at Oxford University wanted to create a virtual environment to assist researchers with their work The BVREH is a 15 month project to investigate the suitability of a VRE within the Humanities at Oxford The project breaks down into three main stages …

3 Stage One: Detailed ICT user requirements survey, initially of Oxford humanities researchers Stage Two: Three to four demonstrator tools Stage Three: Recommendations as to what might be included in a fully fledged humanities VRE

4 Supporting the ‘Mechanism of Research’ Many of the same, generic needs have been expressed time after time

5 Discovery Searchable lists of conferences and seminars Information regarding grants and funding – Working with Research Services Research Discovery Service (RDS) – Database of research interests – Enables collaboration

6 Making information available to others Assistance in Publishing online – Personal Content Management System Institutional Repository

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8 Communications Video Conferencing/Access Grid Chat facilities (IRC) Voice over IP (VoIP)

9 Access Grid Node at the Centre for e-Research at the University of Bristol

10 Tools to support the Humanities Researcher Current stage – About to build prototype/mock-up tools – Exactly what still being finalized

11 Research Find Material – Search on terms View; Identify items of interest Organise; make notes Compare; process – Use specialised tools – Maybe consult with collaborator Repeat the above Compose output to great acclaim

12 Locating Material Search on-line databases Cross Search multiple sources Provide a Front End to ease this rather than replacement for existing sources Retrieve and Integrate data from multiple sources – DataGrids

13 a Personal Space Store View Organise Annotate...

14 Virtual Lightbox Embeds in Browser Java Multiple Images Multiple sites –Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

15 Virtual Lightbox

16 VLMA Extension to Virtual Lightbox Reading University & Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceMax Planck Institute for the History of Science Sponsored by the JISC

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18 VLMA Uses RDF Not concurrent views, but can save and distribute a view Requires Java plug-ins (rather immature)

19 RDF Resource Description Framework W3C standard to represent metadata SubjectObject Predicate

20 a Common Space Researcher has personal Collection & Notes Shares part with collaborator Both view/edit remotely Combine with communication tools – VoIP – Chat (IRC) Communicate back to data source maintainer – Assisted by SemWeb infrastructure

21 Acknowledgements Principle Investigators: Prof. Alan Bowman – Faculty of Classics Dr Charles Crowther – Faculty of Classics Michael Fraser – OU Computing Services Matthew Dovey – OU Computing Services Thanks to: Marina Jirotka – OU Computing Labs Leif Isaksen – VLMA Project

22 Thank you and goodbye ?


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